9 Common Car Accident Injuries and What to Do About Them
Millions of people are injured in car accidents every year. There are a number of common car accident injuries that you may experience. Some of them seem minor but actually have long-lasting impacts on your overall health and well-being. Read on to learn more about them. If you’ve ever been in an accident, you know that not only do accidents cause physical injuries, they can cause emotional ones as well.
Being in an accident can impact your day-to-day life through physical injuries, but it can also make it difficult to go about your everyday activities if you are nervous to drive or ride in a car again.
This is one of the most common car accident injuries. A whiplash injury happens when your head is suddenly thrown forwards or backward, which can happen when you are hit by another car. Even a low-speed collision could cause whiplash.
This type of injury may not seem like a big deal at first, but it can cause lingering neck pain, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. You might not even realize you have whiplash right away, either. You might not start feeling the effects of whiplash until a few hours after the accident or even the next day.
The most common treatment for whiplash is rest, over-the-counter pain medications, and applying heat or cold (either a heating pad or ice pack). If you have severe pain, your doctor may prescribe prescription pain medication.
2. Brain Injuries
Any type of brain injury should be treated immediately by a doctor. Brain injuries could include a mild concussion that heals after a few weeks to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which could have irreversible impacts on your memory, vision, speech, and mobility.
Head injuries typically require medical care and cause you to miss work. TBIs often cause permanent disability and render you unable to work ever again. You may even need round-the-clock caregiving if you have a TBI.
Brain injuries often require extensive treatment and rehabilitation, as you may need to learn how to do many basic functions, such as walking, talking, and eating all over again.
3. Head Injuries
Your brain isn’t the only part of your head that can sustain a car accident injury. Your jaw, cheekbones, and even eye sockets could be broken as a result of the impact of the crash. You could experience blindness, dental injuries, and ear injuries resulting in hearing loss.
Because of the likelihood of whiplash and the impact of hitting your head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or even windshield, head injuries are very common and should be treated immediately.
The nature of your head injury will dictate the treatment. For example, broken bones could require surgery. These injuries must be treated by a doctor.
4. Neck Injuries
Whiplash isn’t the only neck injury common in car crashes. Other neck injuries, such as a crushed trachea or larynx, internal decapitation, or a broken neck can all occur. These are very serious injuries and if you survive them, you will likely need a lifetime of medical care.
5. Back Injuries
Back injuries might seem like they aren’t a big deal at first, but they can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain. In severe cases, a back injury could cause damage to your spinal cord, vertebrae, ligaments, or discs. The most severe cases could also cause paralysis of your arms, legs, or both.
Even if you have just minor back pain after a car accident, consult with a doctor to make sure that it doesn’t escalate into chronic, serious pain. Many back injuries are treated with plenty of rest and over-the-counter pain medication.
Visiting a chiropractor or getting physical therapy also can help treat back pain, but the most severe cases may require surgery.
6. Chest Injuries
Chest injuries can occur when the airbag deploys, particularly if you are not wearing a seatbelt. If you aren’t buckled and the airbag deploys, you could experience a broken sternum or broken ribs as well as internal organ damage, such as a punctured lung.
Airbag technology has improved in recent years, so these injuries have been minimized. Regardless, you should always wear your seatbelt, whether you are a driver or a passenger.
Depending on the chest injury, you may need lots of rest to allow things like broken bones to heal. Punctured lungs or internal organ damage may require surgery and other intensive medical treatment to fully heal.
7. Broken Bones
It’s easy to break any of your bones in a car accident. Ribs, legs, arms, hips, and ankles are all at risk of being broken when you are in a car crash. Broken bones must be treated by a medical professional, as you will need x-rays to diagnose the broken bone and then treatment such as a cast. Luckily, most broken bones heal within a few months, but you may have many restrictions on what you can do while you are recovering.
8. Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding is extremely serious and is also extremely hard to detect. You may not be in much pain, other than feeling like you have some bruises. In reality, you could be severely bleeding internally and if you don’t catch it fast enough, it could be fatal.
Also, internal bleeding often requires surgery to stop the bleeding and to repair any tears or lacerations causing the bleeding. This is yet another reason why you should get checked out by a medical professional even if you think you are not injured.
9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Finally, PTSD is common among car accident victims. PTSD can manifest itself after any type of accident, even a minor one. Research shows that car accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in the general population in the US, with nearly 40% of people who are in a car accident developing PTSD.
If you think that you are suffering from this after your car accident, a mental health professional will be able to help you find appropriate and effective tools to treat it. PTSD is typically treated with therapy or medication or a combination of both. This is not something that should be ignored, as, without treatment, it may get worse.
Call an Attorney if You’ve Experienced Any of These Common Car Accident Injuries
If you have experienced any of these common car accident injuries, you should consider speaking with a personal injury attorney. They all require medical care in the short term. Some may result in the need for a lifetime of care. If this is the case with your injuries, you will need a large accident settlement. This will pay for medical bills and any future expenses.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve. At Sycamore Accident Lawyers, we specialize in car accident injuries in the Riverside area and can give you a free case consultation.